You and I and We


We praise the skill of the athlete,
the hyper-drive of human limbs,
the physiology of will,
the suffering to win.

We admire the minds that debone matter,
with the curved blade of time and space.
We revere the intelligentsia of deconstruction,
the dialectic showdown at modernity’s sundown.

And those who explore the deeps,
who build ships to Venus
or walk the polar reaches,
rightfully wear the gold of Ophir.

We gather at footlights, enthralled by the play.
We wonder at the liminal passages
through which comes the child at the cello—
the sweep of bow, the honeyed strings.

We walk in awe of all human achievement,
honour the rightful glory of greatness,
that call the most gifted and perceiving
toward that next horizon.

And yet, what defines us, is how we toil
at screens, at mirrors, to hide
through display, and barricade ourselves
against any social blemish.

How merciful then, an awkward moment,
a shining through, an endearing glance,
a step toward, a touch, an accident of grace,
making you and I, available—and we, possible.


  1. Beautifully crafted, Steve. An observation – that no human achievement is possible without the prevenient grace of “we” that came before, as most of the over-achievers that we admire will admit. As the presenter at my conference yesterday said, no brain can exist without other brains. Before there was a “we”, there was the We.

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